Reaching First Responders in Your Community
By New Churches Team
It is a known fact that everyone loves donuts! But, when wanting to show the love of Christ to police officers and other first responders, is there a more effective way than just showing up with donuts?
Should I Bring Donuts?
Yes, bring donuts or whatever kind of treat you would like to bring. The bigger picture is to show the first responders in your community appreciation when they do not expect it to surprise and delight them. Many will show their thanks on days like 9/11 or the 4thof July (and rightly so). However, it is the continual unexpected acts of kindness that will build bridges with this particular group in your community.
It is no secret that first responders frequently see tragedy or people that are not living their best life. It can lead to mental health issues or PTSD. In larger cities, there may be many resources available for these first responders to receive care. However, in smaller communities, these resources may not be as easily accessible. Perhaps you could volunteer some of your time to be a chaplain or a pastor that will pray with and support these men and women.
Reaching the First Responders In Your Church
If there are first responders that attend your church, perhaps inviting them to an affinity life group or Bible study would be beneficial. Since first responders are continually responding to crisis situations, it may be helpful to be surrounded by others that understand the uniqueness and nature of their occupation.
Another idea is to invest in and disciple a first responder that is a healthy and growing Christ follower. The reality is that they will be able to go places, build relationships, and potentially reach people for Christ that pastors and church leaders may not be able to.
Adapted from the New Churches Q&A Podcast Episode 370: How to Reach First Responders In Your Community. Click here to subscribe and listen to more church planting, multisite, and multiplication tips.